Moravian language

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Moravian language (Moravian moravščina, Czech moravština or moravský jazyk ) is a collective term for dialects of Czech spoken in Moravia . The Moravian dialects sometimes differ significantly from both the Czech font ( spisovna čeština ) as well as in Bohemia and in major cities throughout the Czech Republic increasingly spoken Bohemian vernacular common Czech ( obecná čeština ).


Dialects in Moravia and Silesia. Orange: Bohemian-Moravian dialects, green: Central Moravian dialects, red: East Moravian dialects, yellow: North Moravian dialects, purple: Moravian-Silesian dialects, blue: German-speaking majority of the population before the war, today dialectic mixed zone

The Moravian dialect area is divided into three large dialect groups: the group of Central Moravian (Moravian-Hanakian) dialects, the group of East Moravian (Moravian-Slovak) dialects and the group of North Moravian (Moravian-Silesian or Lachish) dialects.

Central Moravian dialects are spoken in a wide area from the area around Zábřeh and Šumperk in the north to the Austrian border in the south. The core area is the Moravian Haná Plain , which extends between the cities of Brno and Olomouc . The Brno dialect itself is called Hantec .

East Moravian dialects are spoken in a strip along the Slovakian border from Vsetín in the north to Břeclav in the south. The East Moravian dialects form the transition from the Czech to the Slovak language area ( Slovak language ) and form a dialect continuum with the West Slovak dialects bordering on Slovak territory .

North Moravian dialects are spoken in a strip along the Polish border, in the area of ​​the cities of Opava and Ostrava . The North Moravian dialects form the transition from the Czech to the Polish language area ( Polish language ) and form a dialect continuum with the Silesian dialects bordering on Polish territory.

In areas in which there was a German-speaking majority of the population until 1945, the influx of many new residents from Central Bohemia and Moravia resulted in mixed dialect regions.


The clearest way to distinguish the Moravian dialects is the different development of the old Czech long vowels ú (long u) and ý (long "hard" i). Both developed into diphthongs in the Bohemian-speaking region (ú to ou and ý to ej), but were lowered in Central Moravian (i.e. they developed into long ó or é), retained in East Moravian and finally shortened in North Moravian (to u and y ).

Other linguistic features that are considered to be “typically Moravian” but are not characteristic of a dialect group alone can be listed:

  • the inconsistent implementation of the so-called “Czech umlauts” from a to e and u to i after palatal consonants. Therefore, in Moravian dialects, v. a. in the declination of nouns, there are often non-umlauted forms, such as: ulica , stanica , v Bystrcu , dušu ( acc .), s dušou (instr.) (instead of ulice , stanice , v Bystrci , duši , s duší )
  • some deviating verb forms: the 1st person singular of být (“to be”) “I am” is Moravian su (instead of standardch. jsem ), the 1st person. Sg. And the 3rd pers. Pl. From chtít ("want") "I want" and "they want" are chcu (instead of chci ) and chcou (instead of chtějí ).

In addition, there are a number of lexical peculiarities ( e.g. dědina instead of vesnice “village”, stolař instead of truhlář “carpenter”, bečka instead of sud “barrel”, kabela instead of taška “bag”, kačena instead of kachna “duck”, zavazet instead of překážet “prevent ", Rožnout instead of rozsvítit " turn on the light "and the like)


The Moravian dialects are locally limited in their distribution and limited in their use to everyday use. In supraregional and semi-official communication, the standard language is therefore often used, in contrast to the Bohemian language area, where colloquial language also penetrates official communication. In Czech sociolinguistics, the question of whether the Moravian dialects are more likely to develop in the direction of the Czech standard language or whether a tendency towards the development of a more spacious Moravian regiolect is currently disputed. An advance of the Bohemian colloquial language in the Moravian language area can v. a. can be observed in the West Moravian transition area and in larger cities.

See also

Hantec - language in the Brno area


  • Rastislav Šrámek: On the current situation in Czech. In: Ingeborg Ohnheiser, Manfred Kienpointner, Helmut Kalb: Languages ​​in Europe. Language situation and language policy in European countries . Institute for Languages ​​and Literatures of the University of Innsbruck 1999, pp. 95-102, ISBN 3-85124-194-0
  • Josef Vintr: The Czech. Main features of its language structure in the present and history . Sagner, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-87690-796-9 .
  • Zdeněk Masařík: About some of the driving forces behind the mixture of languages ​​in the early New High German dialects of Moravia. In: Acta facultatis philosophicae universitatis Ostraviensis: Studia germanistica. Volume 3, Ostrava (Mährisch Ostrau) 2008, pp. 11-22.

Web links

  • Aleksandr D. Duličenko: Moravian (PDF file; 3 pages, 166 kB, an entry on the Moravian language in the online encyclopedia of the European East , translated by Dagmar Grammshammer-Hohl), University of Klagenfurt [2006], pp. 291–293 .